A Librarian's Alphabet

A is for Access, a large part of our creed.
B is for Books. Those bound paper thingies you read?
C is for Computer, with keys and with locks.
D is for Data, some basic building blocks.
E is for Education, with ideas that once baffled.
F is for Free, but remember TANSTAAFL. 1
G is for Guide through the data-packed mist.
H is for Helpful. We like to assist!
I is for Information, both action and item.
J is for Journals. We love and deride 'em.
K is for Knowledge, our most noble quest.
L is for Library. You couldn't have guessed?
M is for MARC, strange numbers and fields. 2
N is for Network. Working together, to get greater yields.
O is for Overdue. Come in and renew 'em.
P is for Patrons. Or "Customers" in TQM. 3
Q is for Question, which sets all into motion.
R is for Reading. What a radical notion!
S is for Searching those intellectual mazes.
T is for Thank-you, among other praises.
U is for Unknown, a great place to explore.
V is for Value. More MORE MORE MORE!!!!
W is for Whispering, the way we all spoke.
X is for Xerox®. Paperless? Us? What a joke!
Y is for Yellow, worn at graduation. 4
Z is for Libraries. (In LC classification!) 5

Written by Denise Plourde, March 1998.


1. Acronym for "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch", from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert A. Heinlein. Basically, one way or another, you end up paying for what you get. If you want, you may read the jargon definition of the term, or browse Amazon's summaries and commentaries.
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2. "The MARC (Machine-Readable Cataloging) formats are standards for the representation and communication of bibliographic and related information in machine-readable form." Taken straight from the Library of Congress MARC Standards page.
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3. Acronym for "Total Quality Management." This was a management trend in the 1990s. And of course, there were books about it.
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4. The trimming on the hood! (And the sleeves, if you have a doctorate.) Lemon yellow is the color for library science. See Academic Costume Code and Ceremony Guide by Eugene Sullivan, American Council on Education.
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5. Okay, so the Library of Congress Classification Outline has it as "library science," but Z is the class for works on libraries, librarianship, and related topics.
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